Dear Editor
ON December 21, 2018, Mr. Charrandass Persaud, an APNU+AFC Parliamentarian, joined with the Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to overthrow the APNU+AFC Administration.  After his vote, Mr. Persaud was able to, and rightly so, peacefully leave the country.

So, how would the script have read if an African PPP/C Parliamentarian had conspired with an APNU+AFC opposition to overthrow a PPP/C Government? To arrive at the unknown, let’s begin with what is known. How did people and organisations fare under the PPP/C Government?

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We know that Stabroek News and Kaieteur News were punished with the withdrawal of government ads, for their reportage that was deemed “anti-PPP.”   We know that when Mrs. Jagan, the matriarch of the PPP organisation, stood up for what she considered sacrosanct – press freedom – she was publicly denigrated and relegated to the status of now “a private citizen.”

We know that Freddie Kissoon, a fierce critic of successive PPP governments, was reportedly called a “man kisser and sleaze ball” by a PPP president. The same Freddie was doused with miasmic substance and received a beating. In his August 12, 2012 Column, titled “I am pleading with my country to protect me,” Freddie detailed some of the sufferings he went through.

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We know that Mark Benschop who, under Dr. Cheddi Jagan, vehemently criticised the PNC, was jailed on trumped-up treason charges.  And, in 2010, two days before Christmas Day, Major Bruce Munroe and his wife, Carol Ann, were arrested and imprisoned for treason. We know that Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan, former members of the PPP, were called “snakes” because they joined the Coalition political movement.
I know one businessman who cautioned me to be careful with what I was saying while using his media platform, because, “these people (the PPP leadership) could hurt [your business] bad.” And we know, also, that Courtney Crum Ewing, who had staged a one-man protest against what he perceived to be behavior not befitting a Minister, was gunned down days before the 2015 elections, as he urged voters to “oust against the PPP.”
I do recall an incident at John McCain Town Hall. A member of the audience called Mr. Obama “an Arab.” Senator John McCain rebuked her, saying, “He [Obama] is a good Christian man with whom I just happen to have a difference.” President Obama’s general manner of dealing with opposing views was, “I do not agree with his view but I defend his right to have one.”  We know that Mr. Ramotar didn’t do that when asked about Crum Ewing’s murder.  No, the President of [the] Republic of Guyana labelled the murdered protester, “nothing more than a nuisance.”  We know that this same Ramotar publicly disparaged a protesting member of our Indigenous community, telling him, “Jagdeo wudda slap yuh because yuh stupid.”

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What did the man do? He stood in opposition to the ruling PPP/C.  We know that when a group of women protested the incarceration of the teenager, accused of showing his middle finger to the presidential motorcade, the then President labelled them, “Loonies from the fringes.” We know that for her protestations, activist Sherlina Nageer was called “an idiot,” and a “little piece of s**t” and, among other threats against her, was told to “…F-off.”
Editor, when I consider what people suffered under the PPP/C for their opposition to that party and compare it to what Charrandass Persaud did on December 21, 2018, and what he experienced, I conclude that democracy is truly alive and well under President David Granger.  It isn’t perfect, there is room for progress. But real democracy exists under the David Granger-led administration.

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Regards,
Remington Nelson

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